The National Partnership for Women & Families on Thursday condemned the House Judiciary Committee after it passed a bill to ban sex-based or race-based abortions.


Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination (PRENDA) Act to the U.S. House in December. The legislation could subject a doctor to up to five years in prison for failing to determine if race or sex was a factor in a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy.

"Today's actions by the House Judiciary Committee were a disgrace and a betrayal," Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families, said in a statement.

"The legislation to criminalize abortion on the basis of sex and race is a sham; it is nothing more than an attempt to make it more difficult for women of color to seek abortion care and imprison doctors who provide that care."

"Appropriating the language of the civil rights movement and the names of its leaders does not give you its moral authority," Ness continued. "The move to outlaw sex- and race-selective abortion in the United States is gratuitous and unnecessary, which is why many of the leading and most respected civil rights organizations have lined up against this bill."

The bill claims that immigrants from countries where sex-based abortions are prevalent, such as China, are practicing “female feticide” in the United States and warns that the practice is causing “an unnatural sex-ratio imbalance.”

“Experts worldwide document that a significant sex-ratio imbalance in which males numerically predominate can be a cause of increased violence and militancy within a society,” the bill states.

Arizona enacted a similar law last year.